The aggregate funded ratio for U.S. state pension plans increased by an estimated 2.9 percentage points during the third quarter to 72.3%, according to data issued by Wilshire Associates.
The quarterly change in funding resulted from a 5.1 percentage-point increase in asset values partially offset by a 0.8 percentage-point increase in liability values.
Meanwhile, the aggregate funded ratio is estimated to have decreased by 0.1 percentage points for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.
"The third quarter's increase lifted funded ratios by nearly 10 percentage points from March lows due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Ned McGuire, managing director at Wilshire Associates, in a news release announcing the data.
A 5.1 percentage-point increase in asset values during the third quarter added to the strong second-quarter increase of 11.8 percentage points, bringing the funded ratio nearly even year-over-year, though still 2.5 percentage points below values at the beginning of the year.